Many of our students at Pride Learning Center have been diagnosed with auditory processing difficulties due to CAPD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism, or a learning disability. Often parents will ask me the question, “what can I do at home to help?” I have composed a list of activities that strengthen and support auditory processing deficits that are simple, quick and easy to incorporate at home.
1. Listen for Sounds. Have your child sit at your desk, close their eyes and identify sounds that you make. You can drop a pencil, bounce a ball, tap on the window, tear a paper, use a stapler, cut with scissors, open the door, type on your computer, sip a cup of coffee or write with a marker. Trade roles and then let the child make different sounds that you have to identify.
2. Take a Nature Walk. Sit outside under a tree and listen for various sounds outside of the house. Sounds like birds chirping, airplanes flying overhead, cars driving by, voices of children playing are fun to identify. You can have a little notebook on hand and keep a list of all of the different sounds you came across.
3. Repeat a Pattern. Sit across from your child and clap your hands to a rhythmic pattern alternating between slow and fast tempos. Have your child repeat the pattern. You can also use various instruments, play a drum or bounce a ball to a variety of rhythms. Switch roles and let your child be the sound leader as well.
4. Hide and Seek. Hide a metronome or a ticking clock somewhere in your home. Have your child find it by locating the sound. Another variation of this game can be played outside. You can hide somewhere and blow a whistle. The child will then follow the sounds to find where you are hiding.
5. Sing Songs. Sing songs together that involve repeating previous verses, such as “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, “Over in the River”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “The Green Grass Grows All Around.”
6. Read Rhyming Books Together. For beginning readers, repetitive and rhyming books help children listen carefully to the similar sounds of rhyming words. Some great rhyming books are “Hop on Pop”, “Fox in Socks”, “Goose on the Loose” and “Goodnight Moon.”
Karina Richland, M.A., E.T. is the Managing Director of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. A former teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, Ms. Richland is a reading and learning disability specialist. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Pride Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com